Subject: Re: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: Seth Johnson <seth.johnson@RealMeasures.dyndns.org>
Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2006 21:20:56 -0400


I replied to your message, which might have made it appear to be
a rebuttal of your message.  I intended it as a response to Mr.
Turnbull's message.

You remain in a position of opposing patents since you can't
think of a difference between software patents and other kinds of
patents.  I explained how to distinguish the two.  I don't intend
to go into that at this time, but I will note in passing that I
think you're caught up too much in thinking of the distinction
between "hard" and "soft."  Any form of software will be "hard"
in some way -- it's "written" in some medium.  It's what that
writing *represents* that's the distinction.


Seth



> "David H. Lynch Jr" wrote:
> 
> Seth Johnson wrote:
> 
> > I invite you to attempt to live in a world without reason.
> > Say,
> > a world guided by the notion that vulgar empiricism covers
> > everything.
> >
> > Software freedom is absolutely absolute.  The only
> > conceivable
> > form of exception is a police state.  And that case only
> > represents an order that stands in abject disavowal of
> > reality.
> >
> >
> > Seth
> >
> >
>     Apparently I am doing a poor job of communicating.
> 
>     I was arguing that we all hold absolute values. Even the
> argument that there are no absolute values is an absolute
> value.
> 
>     I am still debating with myself whether "Free Speech" is
> absolute and free speech or free expression is the underlying
> value to software freedom.
>     However if you assign a specific right an absolute status
> that means that in a conflict with any other right it must take
> precedence.
> 
>     Patents and copyrights are restrictions on free speech and
> free expression and if you do believe in absolute free speech
> than you do not believe in copyrights and patents.
> 
>     It would be fairly trivial to "fix" most of the current
> systems problems particularly regarding Free Software, by
> confining the enforcement of patents to the  exercise of those
> patents.
>     Maybe even specifically the commercial exercise of those
> patents. You could then freely research, write about,
> publish/distribute, even incorporate patented technology into
> software.
>     But the use of that software might constitute an
> infringement in some contexts.
> 
>     That particular line of reasoning also fits in with the
> abstract/physical debate - Software does not become
> "patentable" until it actually starts manipulating the real
> world.
> 
>     But I do not like the whole abstract/physical line of
> reasoning. I believe it fails because there is no bright
> distinction. Ultimately I do not believe there is a good reason
> software should not be patentable, but other things should. All
> of the  arguments barring patenting of software apply easily to
> the area of electronics, and don't require too much force to
> work for most other traditionally patentable areas. Conversely
> the arguments that software should be patentable, are not very
> hard to apply to the laws of science nature and mathematics.
> 
> 
> > "David H. Lynch Jr." wrote:
> >
> >
> >> Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> > This applies to "free as in free speech" software, too.
> >> > Software
> >> > freedom is not and cannot be an absolute.  It must be
> >> > embedded in a
> >> > larger context, but its leading advocates explicitly
> >> > refuse to do so.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >
> >>     And why not ?
> >>     Almost every values advocacy group believes their
> >> values are so
> >> fundamental they drive laws and nature not the other way
> >> around.
> >>
> >>     Besides why are some abstractions like the laws of
> >> thermodynamics
> >> absolute, while free speech is fungible.
> >>
> >>     Whether some value is or can be absolute depends on
> >> whether the
> >> world and society can continue to function in that context.
> >>     "embedded in a larger context" is just an appeal to
> >> some other value
> >> - it does not matter what one, that is one step closer to
> >> absolute.
> >>     Even the rejection of  "absolute values" is inherently
> >> self
> >> contradictory.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Dave Lynch
> >> DLA Systems
> >> Software Development:
> >> Embedded Linux
> >> 717.627.3770           dhlii@dlasys.net
> >> http://www.dlasys.net
> >> fax: 1.253.369.9244                                Cell:
> >> 1.717.587.7774
> >> Over 25 years' experience in platforms, languages, and
> >> technologies too numerous to list.
> >>
> >> "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more
> >> complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of
> >> courage to move in the opposite direction."
> >> Albert Einstein
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> 
> --
> Dave Lynch                                                  DLA Systems
> Software Development:                                    Embedded Linux
> 717.627.3770           dhlii@dlasys.net           http://www.dlasys.net
> fax: 1.253.369.9244                                Cell: 1.717.587.7774
> Over 25 years' experience in platforms, languages, and technologies too
> numerous to list.
> 
> "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It
> takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite
> direction."
> Albert Einstein

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